Vacuum in Physics -
The Theory of Physical Vacuum

The ether (also spelled aether) was a concept in physics made obsolete in 1905 by Einstein's theory of special relativity for a short intermediary period until the rise of Quantum Theory.

The idea of an ether was introduced into science by Descartes in Principia philosophiae (1644). Until that time, forces between two bodies that are not in direct contact were assumed to act through space—by action at a distance. Descartes replaced this explanation by one based on an intermediate medium (ether) consisting of vortices that transmit forces between bodies at a distance.

The ether concept became especially predominant in the 19th century by the work of Young and Fresnel who revived Huygens' wave theory of light. They replaced Newton's light corpuscles by waves propagating through the ether. In order to explain stellar aberration, first observed in the 1720s and then shown to be caused by the velocity of Earth relative to the velocity of Newton's light corpuscles, Young (1804) assumed ether to be in a state of absolute rest. Maxwell showed in the 1860s that light waves are electromagnetic waves transverse (perpendicular) to the direction of the propagation of the waves. Following Young and Fresnel, Maxwell assumed that electromagnetic waves are vibrations of the ether.

In the 19th century it was known that transverse waves are not possible in a gas or a liquid, but only in a solid; hence ether was thought to have solid-like properties. Since light behaves in closed rooms the same as in open fields, and many materials are transparent to light, ether was assumed to fill up all of space and all of matter. Thus, at the end of the 19th century physicists had a picture of the ether as a quasi-rigid solid (not completely rigid because it can vibrate), luminiferous (light carrying) medium that is massless and transparent, at absolute rest, and present everywhere. Einstein’s Relativistic theory did not require an aether and by 1902 the idea was opposed.  However his General Theory of Relativity was essentially reintroduced a space with properties of curvature to explain gavity.  Thus it poped back in Physics.

Robert B. Laughlin, Nobel Laureate in Physics, endowed chair in physics, Stanford University, had this to say about ether in contemporary theoretical physics:

It is ironic that Einstein's most creative work, the general theory of relativity, should boil down to conceptualizing space as a medium when his original premise [in special relativity] was that no such medium existed [..] The word 'ether' has extremely negative connotations in theoretical physics because of its past association with opposition to relativity. This is unfortunate because, stripped of these connotations, it rather nicely captures the way most physicists actually think about the vacuum. . . . Relativity actually says nothing about the existence or nonexistence of matter pervading the universe, only that any such matter must have relativistic symmetry. [..] It turns out that such matter exists. About the time relativity was becoming accepted, studies of radioactivity began showing that the empty vacuum of space had spectroscopic structure similar to that of ordinary quantum solids and fluids. Subsequent studies with large particle accelerators have now led us to understand that space is more like a piece of window glass than ideal Newtonian emptiness. It is filled with 'stuff' that is normally transparent but can be made visible by hitting it sufficiently hard to knock out a part. The modern concept of the vacuum of space, confirmed every day by experiment, is a relativistic ether. But we do not call it this because it is taboo.” (Laughlin, Robert B. (2005). A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down. NY, NY: Basic Books. pp. 120–121)


This theory of vacuum has popped up again and again within the quantum wave model.  According to Pearson's theory, all energy in the universe is kinetic, and are produced by particles  that are moving. Within the vacuum however, energy exists where photon-like or neutrino-like particles or even virtual particles with zero or even non-zero rest mass which are moving at the speed of light. The same conclusion was made by G. Shipov who developed the theory of the physical vacuum. In the relativistic quantum field theory, the physical vacuum is also assumed to be some sort of non-trivial medium to which one can associate certain energy. This is because the concept of absolutely empty space (or "mathematical vacuum") contradicts to the postulates of quantum mechanics. According to Quantum Field Theory, even in absence of real particles the background is always filled by pairs of creating and annihilating virtual particles. There may not be observable particles since they disappear . According to present-day understanding of what is called the vacuum state or the quantum vacuum, it is "by no means a simple empty space".

The QED vacuum of quantum electrodynamics (or QED) was the first vacuum of quantum field theory to be developed. QED originated in the 1930s, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s it was reformulated by Feynman, Tomonaga and Schwinger, who jointly received the Nobel prize for this work in 1965.[6] Today the electromagnetic interactions and the weak interactions are unified in the theory of the electroweak interaction.

The Standard Model is a generalization of the QED work to include all the known elementary particles and their interactions (except gravity). Quantum chromodynamics is the portion of the Standard Model that deals with strong interactions, and QCD vacuum is the vacuum of quantum chromodynamics

 According to quantum mechanics, the vacuum state is not truly empty but instead contains fleeting electromagnetic waves and particles that pop into and out of existence.One cannot but remind of the immanence as a concept.  This is exactly the concept presented by tzimtzum.  One contribution to the vacuum energy may be from virtual particles which are thought to be particle pairs that blink into existence and then annihilate in a timespan too short to observe. Their behavior is codified in Heisenberg's energy–time uncertainty principle.

(ΔTime) (ΔEnergy) ≥ ℏ/2

“The ether was sometimes thought of as a very tenuous, primordial gas, perhaps consisting of ether atoms of the incredibly small mass (10-45)g. On the other hand, according to the popular vortex theory, which was cultivated by British physicists in particular, the discreteness of matter (atoms) was epiphenomenal, derived from stable dynamic configurations of a perfect fluid. This all-pervading fluid was usually identified with the continuous and frictionless ether. The highly ambitious vortex theory invented by William Thomson, the later Lord Kelvin, was not only a theory of atoms, it was a universal theory of ether (or space) and matter, indeed of everything (Kragh 2002).

The point is that by the turn of the nineteenth century few physicists thought of “empty space” as really empty. Rather it was filled with an active ethereal medium. This ether was widely seen as “a perfectly continuous, subtle, incomprehensible substance pervading all space and penetrating between the molecules of all ordinary matter, which are embedded in it" (Lodge I883, p. 305). Lorentz and other physicists in the early twentieth century often spoke of the ether as equivalent to a vacuum but it was a vacuum that was far from nothingness. Although Lorentz was careful to separate ether and matter, his ether was “the seat of an electromagnetic field with its separate ether and matter, his ether was “the seat of an electromagnetic field with its energy and its vibrations,... [and] endowed with a certain degree of substantiality”(Lorentz 1909,11. 230).  

 English physicist Oliver Lodge’s ether, if transformed to a mass density by means of E =mc2, corresponded to about l0,000 tons  cm 3  or 1033 erg cm3  adding that “the ether may quite well contain a linear dimension of the order of I0-40 cm and probably of the order of Planck’s length.

Robert Dicke at Princeton University wrote: “One suspects that, with empty space having so many properties, all that had been accomplished in destroying the ether was a semantic trick. The ether had been renamed the vacuum” (Dicke 1959). According to Paul Davies (1982, p. 582], late-nineteenth century physicists “would surely have been gratified to learn that in its modern quantum form, the ether has materialised at last.”  
The Weight of the Vacuum: A Scientific History of Dark Energy By Helge S. Kragh, James Overduin)

Today we have detailed mathematical basics of a unifying fundamental physical theory, with a single postulate of nonvoid physical vacuum. It has be shown that all basic equations of classical electrodynamics, quantum mechanics and gravitation theory could be derived from two nonlinear equations, which define dynamics of physical vacuum in three-dimensional Euclidean space and, in turn, are derived from equations of Newtonian mechanics. Through the characteristics of physical vacuum, namely its density and propagation velocity of various density’s perturbations, such principal physical conceptions as matter and antimatter, electric, magnetic and gravitational fields, velocity of light, electron, photon and other elementary particles, internal energy, mass, charge, spin, quantum properties, Planck constant and fine structure constant will have clear and sane definitions.
(Mathematical theory of physical vacuum N.A. Magnitskii; http://cds.cern.ch/record/932457/files/0602118.pdf)

Here are the conclusions of Prof. Gennady Shipov

The vacuum is a dynamic place

Space and time are intertwined.

Curved by matter; this curvature affects motion.

Vacuum is a roiling sea of virtual particles created by quantum fluctuations.

Contains a nonzero energy density that makes up ~70% of the total energy of the Universe.

The nature of this “dark energy” is almost completely unknown.

The dark energy propels the accelerating expansion of the Universe.

The whole creation therefore can be considered as the Word taking on material nature and then adding on the Spirit over it with encoding DNA.



Another development in this area is the Superfluid vacuum theory (SVT), also known as the Bose Einstein Condensate  vacuum theory, is an approach in theoretical physics and quantum mechanics where the fundamental physical vacuum (non-removable background) is viewed as superfluid or as a Bose–Einstein condensate (BEC).

The microscopic structure of this physical vacuum is currently unknown and is a subject of intensive studies. An ultimate goal of this approach is to develop scientific models that unify quantum mechanics (describing three of the four known fundamental interactions) with gravity, making SVT a candidate for the theory of quantum gravity and describing all known interactions in the Universe, at both microscopic and astronomic scales, as different manifestations of the same entity, superfluid vacuum.


Thus Tzimtzum did not really produce a space of nothingness, but ether whose properties are not really completely comprehended. The vacuum must be considered as the energies of the immanence.  This etymology is complementary with the concept of Tzimtzum in that the subsequent spiritual realms and the ultimate physical universe conceal to different degrees the infinite spiritual life force of creation. Evidently the concept of vacuum or nothingness is nothing but the presence of something of God which the East term as the energies of God. It can be thought of a sea of ether (an ancient artifact of early Physics) in which vibrations take place which form the foundation of creation and foundation of all communication between creation within themselves and creation and the creations.  This is often represented as the Divine Ohr or uncreated light. Their progressive diminutions of the Divine Ohr (Light) from realm to realm in creation are also referred to in the plural as secondary tzimtzumim (innumerable "condensations/veilings/ constrictions" of the life force. However, these subsequent concealment are found in earlier, Medieval Kabbalah. The new doctrine of Luria advanced the notion of the primordial withdrawal (a dilug – radical "leap") in order to reconcile a causal creative chain from the Infinite with finite Existence. It is only through the original Tzimtzum that space, and time,come into being at all.  It is here we have “In the beginning God created” starts.  God is immanent in this creation but He transcends to form the infinite beyond the creative space and time.

“Prior to Creation, there was only the infinite Or Ein Sof  filling all existence. When it arose in G-d's Will to create worlds and emanate the emanated...He contracted (in Hebrew "tzimtzum") Himself in the point at the center, in the very center of His light. He restricted that light, distancing it to the sides surrounding the central point, so that there remained a void, a hollow empty space, away from the central point... After this tzimtzum... He drew down from the Or Ein Sof a single straight line [of light] from His light surrounding [the void] from above to below [into the void], and it chained down descending into that void.... In the space of that void He emanated, created, formed and made all the worlds.” (Etz Chaim, Arizal, Heichal A"K, anaf 2)

In the western theology, there is no concept of how this creation has taken place and where did the substance of creation which God created arose and how was it done.  In Kabballah creation is explained through a series of emanations.  For the Orthodox tradition proposes totally new approach in the creation process.  God in the basic initial perceptible form (the transform from unknowable Nirguna Brahman to knowable Saguna Brahman appears in Trinity - the Father, Holy Spirit and the Son.  The Holy Spirit is one with the Father and eternally proceeds from the Father.  Son is the third person, the Word of God, the source of vibration and the meaning of the vibration. In the jewish concept they even go to the extent that the creation was by the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. That is how Sefer Yetzirah - a book purportly written by Patriarch Abraham presents.

It is the vibration with purpose that creates.  But there is the consonant energies of the Trinity that flows out that forms the strings..  It is these strings or ether in which vibration takes place and creates all the various realms and dimensions of the cosmos both material and immaterial. Therefore, when the Hebrew mystics say that the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet were created first of all out of nothing but God’s desire – His divine will – they are saying the Hebrew Living Letters are at a foundational quantum level of all created things.

As we see it verges on to the modern Physics theory of strings and branes of multidimensions.


String theory

String theory — a proposed "theory of everything" that unites quantum mechanics and general relativity together in one complete picture — models elementary particles as oscillating lines ("strings") rather than dimensionless points. In order for the math to work, string theory requires that there be 10 dimensions: nine of space and one of time. Our universe only appears to have three spatial dimensions, string theorists say, because the other six are curled up in undetectably tiny bundles called Calabi-Yau manifolds, which are a minuscule 10^-33 centimeters across.

Like many other underlying aspects of string theory, there's no feasible experiment that could verify that these manifolds exist, and thus that the universe really does have a 9-dimensional spatial structure. And if it does, physicists wonder why three of those dimensions would be enormous and the other six extremely small. Nonetheless, the string theory framework is compelling because it gracefully explains most aspects of the universe that we do observe, from electromagnetism to gravity to the thermodynamics of black holes.

The new research — by Sang-Woo Kim of Osaka University, Jun Nishimura of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) and Asato Tsuchiya of Shizuoka University — shows that string theory plausibly accounts for the universe's origin and its apparent 3D structure. "We have been able to see how three directions start to expand at some point in time," Nishimura told Life's Little Mysteries. [Does the Universe Have an Edge?]

Many theoretical physicists (among them Stephen Hawking, Edward Witten, and Juan Maldacena) believe that string theory is a step towards the correct fundamental description of nature. This is because string theory allows for the consistent combination of quantum field theory and general relativity, agrees with general insights in quantum gravity such as the holographic principle and black hole thermodynamics, and because it has passed many non-trivial checks of its internal consistency. According to hawking in particular, "M-theory is the only candidate for a complete theory of the universe."[

The starting point for string theory is the idea that the point-like particles of elementary particle physics can also be modeled as one-dimensional objects called strings. According to string theory, strings can oscillate in many ways. On distance scales larger than the string radius, each oscillation mode gives rise to a different species of particle, with its mass, charge, and other properties determined by the string's dynamics. Splitting and recombination of strings correspond to particle emission and absorption, giving rise to the interactions between particles. An analogy for strings' modes of vibration is a guitar string's production of multiple distinct musical notes. In this analogy, different notes correspond to different particles.

Since string theory is believed to be a mathematically consistent quantum mechanical theory, the existence of this graviton state implies that string theory is a theory of quantum gravity.

Open and Closed Strings, courtesy of CERN, Geneva Switzerland

Vibrating circular membrane 


String theory includes both open strings, which have two distinct endpoints, and closed strings, which form a complete loop. The two types of string behave in slightly different ways, yielding different particle types. For example, all string theories have closed string graviton modes, but only open strings can correspond to the particles known as photons. Because the two ends of an open string can always meet and connect, forming a closed string, all string theories contain closed strings.

The 10+1 Dimensional theory can really resemble our known laws of physics.   
The eleven dimensions of space-time posited by string theory consist of one time dimension and ten spatial dimensions. 
Any higher versions will give unphysical results!  

Surprisingly an 11 sefiroth Tree of Life is presented also by Kabballah as the full Cosmos which is ofter represented as a Person.  It is also interpreted as worlds within worlds.  All these form the Primordian Cosmic Adam.  Of the ten spatial dimensions, three are the usual dimensions of space (length, breadth and height) while the other seven dimensions have become “compacted” (in the language of string theory) and, as a result, are not directly accessible to our senses. They are considered to be micro-dimensions that we cannot experience the presence easily. This is why it was previously thought that we inhabit a universe of only three dimensions.

The importance of these amazing scientific statements lies in the fact that they imply a correspondence between science (string theory) and kabbalah. One may identify the physical counterpart of the seven broken sefirot of kabbalah with the seven compacted dimensions asserted by string theory.

Contraction, Creation of Vacuum with immanence and creation of cosmos by the Word.


An exact identical description of the creation process is found in the Indian Dravidian Jagnath concept of creation.